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Cat's Cradle (English Edition) par [Vonnegut, Kurt]
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Cat's Cradle (English Edition) Format Kindle

5.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client

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Longueur : 306 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Description du produit

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Cat's Cradle, one of Vonnegut's most entertaining novels, is filled with scientists and G-men and even ordinary folks caught up in the game. These assorted characters chase each other around in search of the world's most important and dangerous substance, a new form of ice that freezes at room temperature. At one time, this novel could probably be found on the bookshelf of every college kid in America; it's still a fabulous read and a great place to start if you're young enough to have missed the first Vonnegut craze.

Extrait

Chapter One

The Day the World Ended


Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did. They called me John.

Jonah--John--if I had been a Sam, I would have been Jonah still--not because I have been unlucky for others, but because somebody or something has compelled me to be certain places at certain times, without fail. Conveyances and motives, both conventional and bizarre, have been provided. And, according to plan, at each appointed second, at each appointed place this Jonah was there.

Listen:

When I was a younger man--two wives ago, 250,000 cigarettes ago, 3,000 quarts of booze ago . . .

When I was a much younger man, I began to collect material for a book to be called The Day the World Ended.

The book was to be factual.

The book was to be an account of what important Americans had done on the day when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

It was to be a Christian book. I was a Christian then.

I am a Bokononist now.

I would have been a Bokononist then, if there had been anyone to teach me the bittersweet lies of Bokonon. But Bokononism was unknown beyond the gravel beaches and coral knives that ring this little island in the Caribbean Sea, the Republic of San Lorenzo.

We Bokononists believe that humanity is organized into teams, teams that do God's Will without ever discovering what they are doing. Such a team is called a karass by Bokonon, and the instrument, the kan-kan, that bought me into my own particular karass was the book I never finished, the book to be called The Day the World Ended.

Chapter Two



Nice, Nice, Very Nice

"If you find your life tangled up with somebody else's life for no very logical reasons," writes Bokonon, "that person may be a member of your karass."

At another point in The Books of Bokonon he tells us, "Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass." By that he means that a karass ignores national, institutional, occupational, familial, and class boundaries.

It is as free-form as an amoeba.

In his "Fifty-third Calypso," Bokonon invites us to sing along with him:

Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park,
And a lion-hunter
In the jungle dark,
And a Chinese dentist,
And a British queen--
All fit together
In the same machine.
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice, very nice;
Nice, nice very nice--
So many different people
In the same device.

Chapter Three



Folly

Nowhere does Bokonon warn against a person's trying to discover the limits of his karass and the nature of the work God Almighty has had it do. Bokonon simply observes that such investigations are bound to be incomplete.

In the autobiographical section of The Books of Bokonon he writes a parable on the folly of pretending to discover, to understand:

I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be.

And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things."

"Give it to your husband or your ministers to pass on to God," I said, "and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand."

She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.

She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing, [writes Bokonon].

Chapter Four



A Tentative Tangling

Of Tendrils

Be that as it may, I intend in this book to include as many members of my karass as possible, and I mean to examine all strong hints as to what on Earth we, collectively, have been up to.

I do not intend that this book be a tract on behalf of Bokononism. I should like to offer a Bokononist warning about it, however. The first sentence in The Books of Bokonon is this:

"All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies."

My Bokononist warning in this:

Anyone unable to understand how a useful religion can be founded on lies will not understand this book either.

So be it.

. . .

About my karass, then.

It surely includes the three children of Dr. Felix Hoenikker, one of the so-called "Fathers" of the first atomic bomb. Dr. Hoenikker himself was no doubt a member of my karass, though he was dead before my sinookas, the tendrils of my life, began to tangle with those of his children.

The first of his heirs to be touched by my sinookas was Newton Hoenikker, the youngest of his three children, the younger of his two sons. I learned from the publication of my fraternity, The Delta Upsilon Quarterly, that Newton Hoenikker, son of the Noel Prize physicist, Felix Hoenikker, had been pledged by my chapter, the Cornell Chapter.

So I wrote this letter to Newt:

"Dear Mr. Hoenikker:

"Or should I say, Dear Brother Hoenikker?

"I am a Cornell DU now making my living as a free-lance writer. I am gathering material for a book relating to the first atomic bomb. Its contents will be limited to events that took place on August 6, 1945, the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

"Since your late father is generally recognized as having been one of the chief creators of the bomb, I would very much appreciate any anecdotes you might care to give me of life in your father's house on the day the bomb was dropped.

"I am sorry to say that I don't know as much about your illustrious family as I should, and so don't know whether you have brothers and sisters. If you do have brothers and sisters, I should like very much to have their addresses so that I can send similar requests to them.

"I realize that you were very young when the bomb was dropped, which is all to the good, My book is going to emphasize the human rather than the technical side of the bomb, so recollections of the day through the eyes of a 'baby, if you'll pardon the expression, would fit in perfectly.

"You don't have to worry about style and form. Leave all that to me. Just give me the bare bones of your story.

"I will, of course, submit the final version to you for your approval prior to publication.

"Fraternally yours--"

Chapter Five


Letter from

a pre med

To which Newt replied:

"I am sorry to be so long about answering your letter. That sounds like a very interesting book you are doing. I was so young when the bomb was dropped that I don't think I'm going to be much help. You should really ask my brother and sister, who are both older than I am. My sister is Mrs. Harrison C. Conners, 4918 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. That is my home address, too, now. I think she will be glad to help you. Nobody knows where my brother Frank is. He disappeared right after Father's funeral two years ago, and nobody has heard from him since. For all we know, he may be dead now.

"I was only six years old when they dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, so anything I remember about that day other people have helped me to remember.

"I remember I was playing on the living-room carpet outside my father's study door in Ilium, New York. The door was open, and I could see my father. He was wearing pajamas and a bathrobe. He was smoking a cigar. He was playing with a loop of string. Father was staying home from the laboratory in his pajamas all day that day. He stayed home whenever he wanted to.

"Father, as you probably know, spent practically his whole professional life working for the Research Laboratory of the General Forge and Foundry Company in Ilium. When the Manhattan Project came along, the bomb project, Father wouldn't leave Ilium to work on it. He said he wouldn't work on it at all unless they let him work where he wanted to work. A lot of the time that meant at home. The only place he liked to go, outside of Ilium, was our cottage on Cape Cod. Cape Cod was where he died. He died on a Christmas Eve. You probably know that, too.

"Anyway, I was playing on the carpet outside his study on the day of the bomb. My sister Angela tells me I used to play with little toy trucks for hours, making motor sounds, going 'burton, burton, burton' all the time. So I guess I was going 'burton, burton, burton' on the day of the bomb; and Father was in his study, playing with a loop of string.

"It so happens I know where the string he was playing with came from. Maybe you can use it somewhere in your book. Father took the string from around the manuscript of a novel that a man in prison had sent him. The novel was about the end of the world in the year 2000, and the name of the book was 2000 A.D. It told about how mad scientists made a terrific bomb that wiped out the whole world. There was a big sex orgy when everybody knew that the world was going to end, and then Jesus Christ Himself appeared ten seconds before the bomb went off. The name of the author was Marvin Sharpe Holderness, and he told Father in a covering letter the he was in prison for killing his own brother. He sent the manuscript to Father because he couldn't figure out what kind of explosives to put in the bomb. He thought maybe Father could make suggestions.

"I don't mean to tell you I read the book when I was six. We had it around the house for years. My brother Frank made it his personal property, on account of the dirty parts. Frank kept it hidden in what he called his 'wall safe' in his bedroom. Actually, it wasn't a safe but just an old stove flue with a tin lid. Frank and I must have read the orgy part a thousand times when we were kids. We had it for years, and then my sister Angela found it. She read it and said it was nothing but a piece of dirty rotten filth. She burned it up, and the string with it. She was a mother to Frank and me, because our real mother died when I was born.

"My father never read the book, I'm pretty sure. I don't think he ever read a novel or even a short story in his whole life, or at least not since he was a little boy. He didn't read his mail or magazines or newspapers, either. I suppose he read a lot of technical journals, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember my father reading anything.

"As I say, all he wanted from that manuscript was the string. That was the way he was. Nobody could predict what he was going to be interested in next. On the day of the bomb it was string.

"Have you ever read the speech he made when he accepted the Nobel Prize? This is the whole speech: 'Ladies and Gentlemen. I stand before you now because I never stopped dawdling like an eight-year-old on a spring morning on his way to school. Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn. I am a very happy man. Thank you.'

"Anyway, Father looked at that loop of string for a while, and then his fingers started playing with it. His fingers made the string figure called a 'cat's cradle.' I don't know where Father learned how to do that. From his father, maybe. His father was a tailor, you know, so there must have been thread and string around all the time when Father was a boy.

"Making that cat's cradle was the closest I ever saw my father come to playing what anybody else would call a game. He had no use at all for tricks and games and rules that other people made up. In a scrapbook my sister Angela used to keep up, there was a clipping from Time magazine where somebody asked Father what games he played for relaxation, and he said, 'Why should I bother with made-up games when there are so many real ones going on?'

"He must have surprised himself when he made a cat's cradle out of the string, and maybe it reminded him of his own childhood. He all of a sudden came out of his study and did something he'd never done before. He tried to play with me. Not only had he never played with me before; he had hardly ever even spoken to me.

"But he went down on his knees on the carpet next to me, and he showed me his teeth, and he waved that tangle of string in my face. 'See? See? See?' he asked. 'Cat's cradle. See the cat's cradle? See where the nice pussycat sleeps? Meow. Meow.'

"His pores looked as big as craters on the moon. His ears and nostrils were stuffed with hair. Cigar smoke made him smell like the mouth of Hell. So close up, my father was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. I dream about it all the time.

"And then he sang. 'Rockabye catsy, in the tree top'; he sang, 'when the wind blows, the cray-dull will rock. If the bough breaks, the cray-dull will fall. Down will come cray-dull, catsy and all.'

"I burst into tears. I jumped up and I ran out of the house as fast as I could go.

"I have to sign off here. It's after two in the morning. My roommate just woke up and complained about the noise from the typewriter."

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1852 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 306 pages
  • Editeur : RosettaBooks (1 juillet 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B003XRELGQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 3 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°32.747 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Une livre culte et une merveille d'humour déjanté, ou se mêlent science, voodoo, géopolitique, exotisme... C'est extrèmement bien construit, intelligent, surprenant et léger à la fois. J'en suis presque devenu Bokononist (ceux qui liront comprendront).
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great to read and with many interesting findings.
"What can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?" This is it: "Nothing.” (c) Bokonon
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Kurt Vonnegut est un écrivain hyper intelligent, garde le suspens dans ses oeuvres. Je commence à peine à découvrir mais il est en train de rentrer dans mon top 5 de mes auteurs préférés de tous les temps :)
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 1.156 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 So it goes again. 11 janvier 2017
Par James B. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Kurt Vonnegut is a man who saw which way the world was turning and was none to pleased by it. This is one of many novels covering his themes of how flawed human society is, regardless of what it tries to pursue.

The story follows a reporter named John. John wants to write a book Felix Hoennikker, who was one of the principle engineers of the atomic bomb. While investigating him, he meets many things: a new religion called Bokononism, a stone angel, a philosophical dwarf, a Hoosier, and a chemical more dangerous than the A-bomb itself.

Vonnegut spares no one in this volume, taking shots at scientists and the religious with equal fervor. Vonnegut writes some of the best absurd ism in literature, and anyone should be glad to read this. Enjoy.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 See the cat? See the cradle? 1 juin 2017
Par Bryan Desmond - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was technically my second book by Vonnegut -- my first being 'God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian" -- but I consider this to be my real intro to his work, as Kevorkian was rather short and maybe not the best introduction to Kurt's style. And as far as introductions to prolific authors go, I thought it was excellent. I'm excited to explore Kurt's catalog after this.

Cat's Cradle is a story about the end of the world, but I promise you it is not like any apocalyptic story you have read. This is the kind of book that is stuffed with information to contemplate, while at the same time being totally skimmable. Essentially its the kind of books that goes fast, but has so much more to pick up on subsequent reads (I definitely plan to read it again). Cat's Cradle offers an interesting analysis of religion through Bokononism, in which believers maintain that they are all instruments of God's Will, whether they wish to be or not.

While the plot is entertaining and the ideas worth contemplating it was really Kurt's voice that propelled me through the story. Right from the beginning I latched onto his dry wit and rolled with it through to the end. As it happens, I really enjoyed it. Er, rather, as it was meant to happen.

See the cat? See the cradle?
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic Vonnegut 10 août 2016
Par M. Montour - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Typical prose by Kurt Vonnegut. I am new to him, and having already read Slaughterhause five, which came a bit later than this work, I was less enchanted with this story. It meanders a bit more than I like, and he also has more of a Science Fiction bent going on here. That said, he has such incredible use of prose as to really make a person see what he is describing. I found that the longer I read, the more it started to gel for me, and I began to care about the characters. But the first half of the book I struggled to even find the motivation to open it up. Had it been an author less skilled than Vonnegut I might have given up. If you are new to Vonnegut I urge you to continue on as the rewards are great.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 It's just kind of odd. 30 mars 2014
Par Long Ago - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Sometimes one of the elements of the spice of life is to break out of one's box and try new things. Thus, in terms of literature, I decided to try a little bit of Kurt Vonnegut just to "mix it up" a little bit. While I certainly had heard of him for many years, I had never read any of his works. I recently read about his real-life experience of being an American soldier at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during WWII, where he was captured and taken prisoner of war. I then researched more about him and read he considered 'Cat's Cradle' to be one of his best books. Intrigued by the story line, I chose this as my first foray into Vonnegut's world.

The book is an easy read. The Kindle version I had was 287 pages and chapters are but a few pages at the most. The story flows and, if one's interest is maintained through the story, the book is read quickly. However, even as the story captured my interest at the beginning, by midway through the book it was becoming quite odd and I had difficulty staying committed to finishing it. Granted, I'm admittedly a Vonnegut novice but I am aware he's a satirist who's not afraid to voice his opinions and disagreements with many social and political issues from his time period. In terms of my perception of Cat's Cradle, I think - but am not entirely certain - the oddities of the story, it's characters, the backdrop of the story on a fictional island nation, the influences of a fictional religion made up by an old man considered an "enemy of the state" (in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way), and a few other subplots, all seemed to have passed me by and I failed to understand the significance of what Vonnegut was trying to get across to me. Perhaps one must be more studied in his style, his life, him as a person, and the social climate and issues of his times to ultimately understand the morals of his stories. Would I read Vonnegut again? Yes, but I'm in no hurry.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 There is no end to the irony in this masterpiece of optimistic nihilism! 11 octobre 2014
Par dutchw48 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
After 60 years of dedicated reading, Cat's Cradle remains my favorite book! One of the best books of the 20th century! I first read it in 1978 while at work as an electronics bench technician. During down-time I would watch the slender ladies in their exercise class across the street from my window, play Star-trek on the DEC PDP 8 minicomputer, and read book after my book. I rad all of Vonnegut during this period and Cat's Cradle has remained my favorite. I have read it so many times that I have lost count! I was recently stunned that I couldn't find a copy in my collection. It was time for another reread, so I ordered a fresh copy. An extra copy of Cat's Cradle is never excessive. Better too many than too few! I am an orthodox Bokononist! I am lucky mud! Vonnegut is my idol!
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